Fr. Paulo Manna was a missionary of the Pontifical Foreign Mission Institute (PIME). After spending 12 years in Burma, Fr.Manna had to return to Italy permanently due to medical reasons.
With the spirit of the mission still alive, he sought ways to overcome his limitations and still be of service to the mission.
Thus through his writing and publications, Fr. Manna become a missionary animator of the Church. The aim of his work was to announce the progression of faith in the world and also to help missionaries with prayers and offerings. But above all, his works served as a means of awareness of the needs of the mission and thus inspire others to be of service to this noble work.
He dreamed of an organisation that would help him to share the spiritual graces he had received through his work in bringing the Good News of Christ to others. In 1916, with the approval of Pope Benedict XV, he founded the Missionary Union of the Clergy to raise enthusiasm among priests for the Opera Maxima (the evangelisation of the world), to promote knowledge of the Missions and to encourage prayer for them. In 1956, Pope Pius XII bestowed the title of “Pontifical”.
Nowadays this spiritual apostolate, started by this Italian missionary, continues to address itself to those called to bring Catholics to a better understanding of their baptismal responsibility for the church’s missionary work: priests, religious, seminarians, pastoral leaders and those engaged in catechesis and religious education.
In many countries, the success of the three other missionary societies is linked to the vitality of the Missionary Union. It is through this work that the missionary spirit of prayer and generous sacrifice is developed and nurtured. The baptismal mandate, promoted by the PMU, to ‘go to all nations and proclaim the Good News’ is what inspires so many men and women, Religious and lay man to witness and share their faith with so many more.